The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony

Ghibli Fest: ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’

The film is based on Mary Norton’s children’s book series, “The Borrowers.”
%28Design+by+Mary+Allen+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29
Mary Allen
(Design by Mary Allen | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

As seasons change and the weather gets warmer, the air buzzes with the feeling of summer. This past week, Studio Ghibli Fest screened “The Secret World of Arrietty,” a film that captures the summer mood perfectly with its warm colors and atmosphere.

“The Secret World of Arrietty” takes viewers on a captivating journey through the eyes of its titular character, a tiny person living under a human household. They are called “Borrowers,” small, 4-inch beings who take things humans don’t need and use them for themselves. Arrietty and her family live peacefully under the floorboards of a house in a small town but her world is flipped upside down with the arrival of a new resident — a twelve-year-old human boy named Sho.

The Animation

The fact that this is a Studio Ghibli movie speaks volumes about the quality of the animation. Every second of animation is excellent, even if the film is less visually dynamic compared to the studio’s more popular titles.

This is a stealth-focused movie with a lot of dialogue and minimal action. The film captures the vibrancy of summer with a stunning palette of greens, blues and golden sunlight. Lush gardens teem with life and Arietty’s world beneath the floorboards feels so much like being home on a hot day.

From the sunlight through leaves to the dewdrops clinging to spiderwebs, every frame is visual perfection. The animation style perfectly complements the warm, fuzzy feeling of a perfect summer morning, transporting viewers to Arrietty’s small world.

The World

Hiromasa Yonebayashi does an excellent job at building the world from the ground up, making viewers realize the real size difference between Arrietty and the humans. The environmental design is notably impressive. Viewers follow the Borrowers through the house’s nooks and crannies. Arrietty’s family frame postage stamps as paintings, use single drops of water to fill their cups and survive off of a single sugar cube for months. Their living space is full of repurposed small items and the attention to detail is impeccable.

The Sound

The sound design is another highlight. Everyday noises are amplified, creating a unique ambiance that serves as half of the movie’s soundtrack. The other half, composed by singer Cecile Corbel, features a strong Celtic vibe that fits the film beautifully.

She makes her music of harps, acoustic guitars, Irish flutes and bagpipes. This otherworldly quality compliments the film’s modern setting, offering a refreshing offset from typical orchestral scores. The critical acclaim and strong sales of the soundtrack speak volumes about Corbel’s amazing work.

“The Borrowers”

The film is based on Mary Norton’s children’s book series, “The Borrowers.” The adaptation feels surreal but faithful, covering the first book with some changes. Despite some calling it slow and boring, the film offers a subdued, grounded story focusing on plot rather than action. “Arrietty” allows viewers to savor the story and its charming characters.

“The Secret World of Arrietty” is available in several formats from Gkids. The original books are still in print and while the 1997 Hollywood adaptation is easy to find, British adaptations might be more challenging to find.

Despite being the highest-grossing Studio Ghibli movie in American theaters, it remains one of the lesser-known titles. It is an underrated film with enough charm and likable characters to make it worth watching at least once (or rewatching it at least once every summer).

 

[email protected]

@israbii

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Isra Habib
Isra Habib, Arts Writer
Isra Habib is a second year student at the University of Utah, majoring in film and media arts with a minor in English. She joined the Chronicle because she enjoys discussing different media topics and wants to improve her writing. When not stressing over deadlines, Isra can usually be found rewatching her favorite movies, spending time with family and friends or traveling.
Mary Allen
Mary Allen, Design Director
(she/her) Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Mary is thrilled to be here at the University of Utah studying graphic design. She feels very lucky to get to rub shoulders with the talented people that make up the team here at the Chronicle and is learning a lot from them every day. Other than making things look cute, Mary’s passions include music, pickleball, Diet Coke, wildlife protection, and the Boston Red Sox.

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy here.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *